Three moves were finalized recently that will strengthen the School of Medicine and add additional energy to West Virginia University’s commitment to the health of people across the state.

Arif Sarwari, M.D., was named interim chair of the Department of Medicine, effective April 1. He earned his medical degree from Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at WVU, where he served as a chief resident. He also completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland, as well as a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine. Since returning to WVU as a faculty member, he has also completed a Masters in Business Administration degree. Dr. Sarwari was the former medical director of the WVU Positive Health Clinic and serves as a consultant to the State Rapid HIV Testing program. He will fill the post previously held by James Brick, M.D.

David Watson, M.D., assumes the role of interim chair in the Department of Neurology, effective April 1. He earned his medical degree from the WVU School of Medicine, and completed a residency in Neurology and a fellowship in Headache Medicine at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Watson also serves as the director of the WVU Headache Center and as director of the student clerkship in Neurology. Dr. Watson will replace John Brick, M.D., in his role as interim chair.

Charles Mullett, M.D., was named interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics, effective June 30. He previously served as associate professor and chief, Section of Pediatric Critical Care in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Mullett earned his medical degree from the WVU School of Medicine. He completed a residency in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Utah. Dr. Mullett will fill the post currently held by Larry Rhodes, M.D.

“These three physicians started their careers at West Virginia University and have dedicated their professional lives to improving the health of our patients and teaching the next generation of doctors,” Clay Marsh, M.D., WVU vice president and executive dean for health sciences, said. “They will continue the legacy started by those whose footsteps they follow in.”

Drs. Jim and John Brick will be working to implement a large-scale, collaborative outreach effort with the goal of improving the health and education status of southern West Virginians. They will join with local and county government, community, business, church and medical leaders in southern West Virginia towns to help enact change and motivate civic leaders to work together to solve the economic and social problems that exist in these small communities.

In conjunction with those efforts, Dr. Rhodes will be devoting his undivided efforts to leading – and expanding -- the statewide rural network that brings our students into every corner of West Virginia, and integrating our rural health efforts with our many partners across the state.

“This is an important day for our School,” Dr. Marsh said. “Jim, John and Larry are each tied to the very heart of who we are as a medical school and as a University, and each in their own ways have touched the lives of thousands of students, patients, and people across our state in their roles as chairs. It is heartening to know that they will continue to serve the state and the University in leading the health transformation that West Virginia so urgently needs.”

Arif Sarwari, M.D.
David Watson, M.D.
Charles Mullett, M.D.